Iron Dome battery 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
The IDF stationed an Iron Dome air defense battery in the Haifa region on Friday, amid increased regional tensions stemming from the Syrian civil war.
An army spokeswoman said she could not confirm the location of anti-rocket batteries, but added that the systems are moved around the country on a regular basis in line with the latest security evaluations.
On Thursday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz told pilots receiving their wings at the Hatzerim Air Base near Beersheba, “The region is shaking, from south to north. Syria is hemorrhaging blood, and in Lebanon, the fire has begun to catch the edge of [Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah’s robe. In the face of this changing reality, we must be prepared, coordinated and alert, more than ever. You, the graduates, have from now on an inseparable part in safeguarding our readiness against these challenges.”
Speaking at Thursday’s ceremony, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the pilots, “You must be ready for the moment you will be called upon to activate your abilities and strike those who seek to disrupt our lives here, and who are working tirelessly to arm themselves. The skies of Israel are covered these days with threats and challenges, near and far.
We’re dealing with terror organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who are arming themselves all of the time for the day they will shatter the calm of southern residents, as occurred just this week... with the warmongering Hezbollah in the north, and with an unrestrained regime that is slaughtering its citizens in Syria.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Ya’alon observed a Golani Brigade war drill on the Golan Heights on Wednesday, making it clear they picked that location to send a signal of Israeli determination in the face of a rapidly changing situation in Syria.
“An exercise on the Golan Heights is not just a theoretical exercise,” Netanyahu said after watching a brief part of the multi-day drill on the central Golan. “The situation around us has changed swiftly. It is volatile and dynamic, and we need to be prepared accordingly.”
On Saturday, an Iron Dome battery was deployed near Karmiel, according to Army Radio.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.